EducationLocalWilliam J. Ford

Virtual Learning in Prince George’s Garners Mixed Reviews

Ninah Jackson said virtual learning in Prince George’s County provides freedom and flexibility within a student’s class schedule, especially with built-in breaks to not sit in front of a computer for several hours.

The negative effect produces no in-person social and emotional interaction with friends and teachers.

Fortunately for Ninah, she’s enrolled in only three classes: AP Calculus, organic chemistry and research practicum through the county’s science and technology program.

Virtual learning is an adjustment for everybody. I’m definitely not an audio-visual learner. I’m more of a traditional learner. Give me a textbook and send me off to do what I need to do,” said the 17-year-old senior at Oxon Hill High School and student member of the county school board. It’s hard to have that endurance to sit in front of a screen to internalize that information. I know it is hard for teachers to teach the content through a screen.

Monday, Sept. 28 marked the fourth week Prince George’s public school students began the 2020-21 school year using strictly online instruction.

As of that day, health officials reported more than 285,700confirmed coronavirus cases in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

With hundreds of thousands of students, and in some cases, parents at home either working or unemployed due to the pandemic, school officials continue to host virtual sessions to try and ease problems with the online form of instruction.

The Pew Research Center of Northwest completed a survey of U.S. adults between April 7 and April 12 that showed how would technology reach their children when schools resumed in the fall.

According to the center’s report released Sept. 10, about 80 percent of the 4,917 who participated believed school systems have a responsibility “to at least some of their students to provide computers or tablets to help students complete their schoolwork during the outbreak.”

Prince George’s officials distributed thousands of Chromebooks and tablets to students.

In addition, the school system paid Comcast Internet Essentials for almost 4,000 families and 5,00 Verizon hot spots so students can receive internet access.

Some students such as Jaylen Blocker, 17, already experienced some Wi-Fi problems that booted him out during classroom lessons on Zoom. Once internet connection returns, Blocker will email his teacher to explain what happened.

On a couple of occasions, the Parkdale High School junior used his cell phone to participate in class.

The school system uses an A and B schedule where students don’t take the same class daily.

Blocker’s enrolled in nine classes that include math, world history and drama. He also on the school’s football team and works at Outback Steakhouse in Largo.

“We get more work through virtual learning,” he said. “It can really mess you up.”

As for now, the more than 136,000 students in Prince George’s are scheduled to continue with virtual learning for nearly four more months.

County health, school and government officials will analyze in December whether to incorporate a hybrid structure with some in-person learning. If approved, students wouldn’t return to school buildings until Feb. 1.

The majority Black jurisdiction continues to record the most confirmed COVID-19 cases in Maryland.

“We think there is great risk involved in moving out of the posture we are in right now,” County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said during a COVID-19 briefing Thursday, Sept. 24. “We’re going to continue to make sure we keep the health and safety of our students, their teachers, administrators and family members in mind. We are not ready to go to the hybrid [model].”

Although students want to see their friends, health and safety remains the best option.

“I would love to get in the building as soon as possible,” Jaylen said. “But to be on the safe side, we should just wait until Feb. 1.”

Neighboring school systems such as Charles County in Maryland and the District of Columbia public schools are working to offer some in-person instruction later in the fall.

Another D.C. suburb, Montgomery County in Maryland, also plans to maintain virtual learning under the same time frame as Prince George’s.

Tags
Show More

William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Back to top button

My News Matters to me - Washington Informer Donations

Be a Part of The Washington Informer Legacy

A donation of your choice empowers our journalists to continue the work to better inform, educate and empower you through technology and resources that you use.

Click Here Today to Support Black Press and be a part of the Legacy!

Subscribe today for free and be the first to have news and information delivered directly to your inbox.

Select list(s) to subscribe to


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
Close

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker